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Windsor, Great Lakes ports enjoying One of Best Shipping Years ever in 2017

Bad winters usually translate into good business for the Port of Windsor, and a big spike in 2017 sales of its No. 1 export — salt — is helping make this year one of its best ever.

“We’re having a terrific year so far — shipping is up about 20 per cent till the end of September,” said David Cree, president and CEO of the Windsor Port Authority.

Windsorites enjoyed a relatively mild 2016-17 winter, but many of the other K+S Windsor Salt Ltd. clients endured a harsher-than-usual season, resulting in higher-than-normal road salt demand. Cree said Port of Windsor salt exports as of Sept. 30 were up more than 30 per cent over the same period in 2016.

Gravel and other construction aggregates, the local port’s No. 2 shipped product, was up more than eight per cent; grain, in third spot, was up 28 per cent and “general cargo” — primarily steel — shot up 27 per cent, indicating a healthy economy with lots of construction.

This year’s shipping volumes will probably not match those of the 2015 record year, but Cree said the last five years have been “very good” and 2017 so far is ahead of projections.

Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway cargo shipments as a whole are up 14 per cent over 2016 volumes as of the end of September, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation reported Tuesday. The total of 24.3 million metric tons in cargo shipped from March 20 to Sept. 30 represents a three million tonne jump from the same period in 2016.

Tuesday was Marine Day on the Hill, when the Chamber of Marine Commerce and shipping executives and their customers meet with Canadian federal government representatives. Despite the high cargo volumes carried by ships in the Great Lakes, Cree said there is still “lots of room to grow … without any additional infrastructure requirements.”

The Port of Windsor’s 13 terminals are, on average, under 60 per cent capacity, he said.

With “tremendous potential to grow,” Chamber of Marine Commerce president Bruce Burrows told officials that government needed to recognize “marine shipping’s significant environmental and economic benefits in its approach to transportation planning and policy-making.”

From the beginning of the 2017 shipping season to the end of September, about 70 freighters picked up 1.5 million tonnes of salt in Windsor, said Cree. During that period, 494 cargo ships stopped in the Port of Windsor (compared to 466 in 2016), loading or unloading about 3.8 million tonnes of cargo.

Weather, market demand and maintenance schedules usually mean Windsor sees its last freighter stops of the year by about mid-December, said Cree.

Click here for complete Windsor Star article.

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Windsor Port Traffic Shows Large Increase

Windsor’s ports are booming this year with total cargo volume up almost 20 per cent as of the end of July compared to the same time frame for 2016.

The most prominent increase are shipments of grain which is up 36 per cent this year, while salt volumes are up 32 per cent, according to figures released Wednesday by the Windsor Port Authority.

“We are obviously very pleased with these strong early results for the season,” said David Cree, CEO for the port authority. “We had anticipated a slight recovery after a downturn in 2016, but these numbers have exceeded our projections.”

Other strong growth numbers include general cargo, which primarily consists of imported steel, and is up over 25 per cent.

Given how grain and general cargo are largely shipped on foreign vessels, Cree also noted that has made for a large increase in overall traffic so far this year throughout the entire St. Lawrence Seaway system.

Click here for complete Windsor Star article.

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Windsor Port Authority in the News

Windsor Port Authority reports increase in shipping activity….

Click here to read the full story.

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Green Marine Certification

Follow the link to view the performance report online: 2016 Performance Report

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Press Release – Board Appointment

June 22, 2017

George Sandala, Chair of the Windsor Port Authority, is pleased to announce the
appointment of Walter M. Benzinger to the Board of Directors. Mr. Benzinger was
appointed by the Federal Government for a term of 3 years commencing June 27, 2017.
Mr. Benzinger is a Chartered Public Accountant and a partner in the Windsor office of
Deloitte LLP. Mr. Benzinger is the Windsor Tax Leader for the firm and is responsible
for all their Windsor tax operations. He provides business advisory skills to a variety of
privately held companies. He specializes in the areas of estate planning and minimizing
taxation for owner/managed companies.

Mr. Benzinger has been an active volunteer in the community, serving on numerous
boards and committees, including the Boards of Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital, Essex Golf
and Country Club and previously on the Windsor Port Authority.
Mr. Sandala stated “Walter’s financial expertise and community involvement will be of
great benefit to the Port Authority and on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, I am
pleased to welcome him to our Board”.

For further information, please contact
Mr. David Cree, President & CEO
519-258-5741

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Port Traffic News

Windsor Port Authority traffic ebbs after banner year.

Please click on the link, for the full posting, including pictures: 2017 Traffic Ebbs

Officials expect to bounce back with another great year in 2017 as work on Gordie Howe bridge begins.

CBC News Posted: Jun 07, 2017 7:11 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 07, 2017 7:11 PM ET

Steve Lutsch snapped this photo “to put into perspective” just how big freighters that traverse the
Great Lakes and Detroit River really are. (Steve Lutsch/Facebook)
After a near-record year of ship traffic, the Windsor Port Authority saw cargo volumes take a bit
of a dive in 2016.
The number of ships docking in the port last year dropped 14.85 per cent, while tonnes of cargo
dropped 15.49 per cent, according to figures presented at the port authority’s annual meeting
Wednesday.
But the ebbing numbers simply reflect the banner year of traffic in 2015, largely because of early
construction work on the Gordie Howe International Bridge, say officials.
Windsor Port Authority president and CEO David Cree expects to see ship traffic and cargo
volumes to soar as work on the Gordie Howe International Bridge starts. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)
The 2016 traffic is more on par with the 10-year average, explained David Cree, president and
CEO of the port authority.
“We’re never happy to see a decrease, but that’s sort of the nature of the business,” he said. “We
think we’re going to bounce back very quickly.”
Officials expect to see an increase in traffic in 2017 with numbers from the first month reflecting
that projection, according to port authority board chairman George Sandala.
He anticipates salt aggregate will return to normal levels after a slight decrease last year. A $60-
million expansion at Windsor Salt will be a driving factor behind that, Sandala explained.
Another boon to aggregate starting again this year and ramping up in 2018 will be from the
construction of the Gordie Howe bridge.
A spike in cruise-ship traffic was a bright spot in last year’s numbers. Ports around the Great
Lakes have been promoting tourism internationally, which is starting to roll in, according to
Cree.
“It’s been a nice little added bonus that we were hoping for, but didn’t really expect,” he said.

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13 Curious Facts About the Shipping Industry

Did you know?  Only 2% to 10% of shipments worldwide are inspected.  

Read on to find out fascinating facts about the shipping industry!

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5 amazing facts about the St. Lawrence River

North America’s St. Lawrence water system – which includes the Great Lakes – is one of the largest in the world, and is responsible for draining more than a quarter of the Earth’s freshwater reserves. The artery of this system, the St. Lawrence River, reaches deep into the interior of this massive continent, connecting the Great Lakes system to the Atlantic Ocean.

To celebrate Water Wednesday with WWF and Love Nature, let’s look at five facts about this diverse waterway.

river

 

1. This river is massive!

The St. Lawrence is enormous. The river proper, at 1,197 km in length, runs northeast from Lake Ontario towards the Atlantic, where it forms the Gulf of St. Lawrence. All in all, the whole St. Lawrence system is 3,058 km. This behemoth of a river is still fairly young, having only formed around 10,000 years or so ago when the glaciers began retreating, exposing a giant gash in the Earth’s crust.

Because it flows through such a vast portion of the continent, the river has many different habitats, ranging from Great Lakes freshwater systems all the way to the saltwater ocean environments of the estuary. There are around 83 different documented land and aquatic mammals that call the river and its associated gulf home, including the much adored and endangered beluga whale. Before they were hunted to extinction regionally in the northwest Atlantic, walruses used to swim here too. Part of the Atlantic Flyway, the river is a hotspot for at least 400 species of birds, such as bald eagles, ospreys, and black terns.

 

2. Many original fish stocks are now depleted

When it comes to the depletion of fish stocks, years of pollution and commercial fishing has had massive impacts. The fishing communities that first drew Europeans into the eastern ocean-facing mouth of the river aren’t what they used to be. Herring, sturgeon, and salmon have all been fished to a fraction of their historic populations.

Sports fishing enthusiasts still flock to stretches of the river famous for their small and largemouth bass, northern pike, carp, and muskellunge (a.k.a. muskies). To reverse the decades of commercial over-fishing, research and funds are going into restoration and turning around the plight of some of the river’s most iconic species. WWF’s Loblaw Water Fund, for example, supports on-the-ground restoration work across Canada and in the St. Lawrence River watershed.

 

3. But it’s not all doom and gloom: Some species are doing just fine

The beaver, mink, muskrat, and fox populations historically decimated by the fur industry have gotten a lot of help over the years from government and private groups. Most populations are on the rebound, but beavers and muskrats are still under pressure in some regions by development and human encroachment.

There’s an enormous wealth of plant life in the many various ecosystems along the river, some 1,700 species we know of right now. That includes species of the beautiful and rare lady’s-slipper orchid, and some curiously named specimens like Fernald’s milkvetch, Connecticut beggarticks, handsome sedge, and Philadelphia fleabane.

One of the most significant opportunities to restore the health of this ecosystem involves managing the flow of the river and lake levels in a way that reflects a more natural state. A new plan, Plan 2014, is coming together and if implemented would has unprecedented restoration potential.

 

4. The river is a double-edged commercial sword

Settlers began constructing canals to control boat access along parts of the river and the Great Lakes as early as 1783. By 1932 Canada had already linked Lake Ontario and Erie, but the US was still wary of a mutual project. By 1954 they were finally convinced, and in 1959 the mutually constructed St. Lawrence Seaway and Power project opened, connecting Montreal to Lake Erie.

Economically speaking, the project was a huge success for both countries, and the feat is still deemed an inland-water engineering marvel. But progress often brings problems. Invasive species that hitched a ride on incoming vessels now line the length of the river, and have been causing serious concern for decades now. At least 85 invasive aquatic species have been cited in the river itself, and more than 180 non-native and invasive species exist in the Great Lakes. Zebra mussels are probably the most well-known example. They were first spotted in the Great Lakes in the late 1980’s, and they’re now spread throughout the entire system, choking out competitors such as native freshwater mussel species.

 

5. The river faces many modern-day problems

Like just about every other waterway in the world, the St. Lawrence system is under threat from the usual myriad of stressors such as, development, over-harvesting and pollution.

Recently, the City of Montreal dumped billions of litres of untreated wastewater directly into the river to clear out sewer buildup. WWF-Canada remains opposed to this action and, should a similar issue arise in future, urges the City of Montreal to seek other solutions

Another concern is the possibility of oil spills from boats and underwater transport lines. And just last year, McGill University researchers uncovered microplastic pollution levels in the St. Lawrence on par with the most contaminated ocean sediment samples.

WWF is working to safeguard the St. Lawrence River and has completed assessments on the health of, and threats to, the major watersheds flowing into the mighty river. Read the report here: watershedreports.wwf.ca

 

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Port Traffic Slows in 2016

After one of the best years in the Port’s history in 2015, total port traffic declined in 2016 with the near-completion of the early works at the customs plaza which will service the new Gordie Howe International Bridge. That work had led to a surge of over 50% in construction aggregates in 2015, but with its completion, aggregate volumes dropped by almost 30% in 2016. This resulted in a decline in total traffic volumes of 15.49% for the
year.

David Cree, President & CEO of the Windsor Port Authority stated “Any declines in traffic are always disappointing, but in this case we were certainly expecting the drop-off in construction aggregates with the near-completion of the early works at the Bridge. We are anticipating that once construction starts on the bridge itself, we will see a further surge in construction aggregates during those years.”

There were several bright spots for the year with steel imports increasing by 28% and grain and related products increasing by 24%. In addition, petroleum products which are handled through the Sterling Marine Fuels dock increased by slightly over 3%.

Other important milestones during 2016 included the on-going rehabilitation of the park and fishing pier at the end of Mill Street, the purchase of green space adjacent to the Port Authority’s offices on Sandwich Street which will be utilized for community purposes, and the purchase in partnership with the Windsor Police Services of a new 25ft WAC SAFE Boat which will greatly enhance marine patrol capabilities on the Detroit
River.

In conclusion, Mr. Cree stated “All-in-all, despite the significant decline in total port traffic, 2016 was a very productive and positive year for the port in many ways. We are looking forward to slightly higher cargo volumes in 2017 and with virtually all of the revenue earned by the Port Authority being re-invested into our community, we will continue to be a leader in the economic and social well-being of the City of Windsor.”

For further information and inquiries, please contact
David Cree, President & CEO
519-258-5741
wpa@portwindsor.com

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Newest U.S. Navy warship makes historic stop in Windsor

2016 USS Detroit 

Click on the link above to read full article as published in The Windsor Star, October 14, 2016.

USS Detroit (2016)

Below, Windsor Port Authority Officials visit the USS Detroit.

Windsor Port Authority visits USS Detroit (2016)

 

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